Top of the Morning, Feb. 22, 2014

Top of the Morning, Feb. 22, 2014

As Piatt County's spelling bee champ, Leo Kinsella was asked when he'd be available to copy edit at The News-Gazette.

"What does it pay?" was Leo's clever response. He's in seventh grade.

Spelling bee season is underway, kids like Leo hoping to wind up at the national finals near the nation's capital in May. His next stop is a regional competition in March in Decatur. Is Washington D.C., a possibility?

"Not unless I choose to spend a lot more time studying," he said. "But I have one more year of eligibility, so I won't say it could never happen."

Leo clinched this week's county contest at Monticello Middle School by correctly spelling "fletcherism" and "plateau." A year ago, he finished second to older brother Paolo.

"We're all good spellers; it runs in the family," Leo said. "But I'm a better speller than my brother!"

Here's more:

He roots for the Bears, Blackhawks and Patriots, plays baseball and basketball and enjoys video games.

"I also love to practice dialects and do impressions," he said. "My mom and I often talk to each other in British accents. It drives my dad and brother crazy."

Practice can be a pain.

"It feels like a chore sometimes, like doing any other homework. I don't ever study alone or write the words. Mom and Dad just ask me words and I spell them, and if I get it wrong, they give me a trick to remember it next time. Like, to remember the word persistent ends with 'ent' not 'ant,' my mom taught me that 'you must be persistent when setting up a tent.' "

"Fletcherism" didn't make him flinch.

"No, that's a word I had studied before, and it's a pretty easy word. Just spell like it sounds; no tricks for that one. I can't tell you what it means, though."

Words in history

Here are the "winning" words since 1925 in the National Spelling Bee.
1925 gladiolus
1926 cerise
1927 luxuriance
1928 albumen
1929 asceticism
1930 fracas
1931 foulard
1932 knack
1933 torsion
1934 deteriorating
1935 intelligible
1936 interning
1937 promiscuous
1938 sanitarium
1939 canonical
1940 therapy
1941 initials
1942 sacrilegious
1946 semaphore
1947 chlorophyll
1948 psychiatry
1949 dulcimer
1950 meticulosity
1951 insouciant
1952 vignette
1953 soubrette
1954 transept
1955 crustaceology
1956 condominium
1957 schappe
1958 syllepsis
1959 catamaran
1960 eudaemonic
1961 smaragdine
1962 esquamulose
1963 equipage
1964 sycophant
1965 eczema
1966 ratoon
1967 Chihuahua
1968 abalone
1969 interlocutory
1970 croissant
1971 shalloon
1972 macerate
1973 vouchsafe
1974 hydrophyte
1975 incisor
1976 narcolepsy
1977 cambist
1978 deification
1979 maculature
1980 elucubrate
1981 sarcophagus
1982 psoriasis
1983 Purim
1984 luge
1985 milieu
1986 odontalgia
1987 staphylococci
1988 elegiacal
1989 spoliator
1990 fibranne
1991 antipyretic
1992 lyceum
1993 kamikaze
1994 antediluvian
1995 xanthosis
1996 vivisepulture
1997 euonym
1998 chiaroscurist
1999 logorrhea
2000 demarche
2001 succedaneum
2002 prospicience
2003 pococurante
2004 autochthonous
2005 appoggiatura
2006 Ursprache
2007 serrefine
2008 guerdon
2009 Laodicean
2010 stromuhr
2011 cymotrichous
2012 guetapens
2013 knaidel



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